A South African, married to an American, finally adapting to my adopted country. I love life, laughter, good friends and the warmth that my two kids have filled me with. I glory in the colors of my life and am grateful for the gray days as they allow me to appreciate the rainbows.

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Location: New York, United States

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Monday, January 30, 2006

Today is my cousin Darren's 39th birthday!! Happy Birthday! I am fortunate in that I adore Darren. We had a rough beginning, him being the bully and me being one of his many objects he seemed intent on destroying. I think my cousin Warren got it worse then me and My cousin, Lisa, his sister worse then anyone. But out of all my cousins I have to say I am closest to Darren and his wife at this moment in time. There are other cousins who do not live closeby with whom I feel an incredible connection but Darren is a part of my everyday life. He has two boys a few years younger then my kids and they are just delightful - curious, kind and so sweet. Saturday we had a braai/BBQ for him to celebrate his special day. Today I spent the day riding around with him watching him work, he is also a title closer and in a league far above me. He is awesome at what he does and I am really proud of him.

After his birthday bash Josh and I went to hang out with our friends Loren and Jeff. We really treasure our times together, they are so grounded and real. Sunday Josh went off-roading with his step-brother and I went to see Brokeback Mountain. I have to say I was quite dissapointed, Ijhonestly think that if it was not such a contraversial topic it would not even have featured on the circuit. The scenery was magnificent, the cinematography - gorgeous, acting good. But honestly if the story had been about a heterosexual couple there would be no press around it.

Monday, January 23, 2006

cake on face ... could that be caked on cake?

Ry digging in!!!

Ryan on the bumper cars - Nikki and I to the left of her - there is something about being driven by a 5 year old - oy vey!!

Ryan on the coaster - these kids take after J in their dare devil antics, I am so not a rollercoaster person

yum that cake tastes good

Nikki and I getting off the bumper cars

Josh and Nikki on the rollercoaster

Josh and Sal - they have been friends since they were 5 years old and went to Kindergarten together.

off and running.................

The week took off with a vengance, felt like horses out of the starting gate and did not slow down. Work was crazy, I really do not function when sleep deprived and ended up having to fix up little things that I missed, not major issues just time consuming. Long closings and whacky stuff. Another day. Saturday was one of those days of juggling, Josh always lets me sleep late as I am a raving bitch when I do not have enough sleep and being married to the snorer from hell does not help things. The kids had back to back activities and Josh was sut from a hectic week and nights of being kicked awake by the bitchy wife who had been kept awake by the snorer from hell. It is rare that his energy levels are low, I sent him to bed, dropped Ry at horseriding, made some calls to set up a support system, dropped Nikki at her friend Cami, Loren took them to dance and another buddy in the class dropped her at the sitters house. Done with horseriding, finished homework, dropped Ry at the sitters home and went off to be zapped (I am doing laser hair removal ... can I just say OW!!!!) While I was being turned into the hairless wonder J had to work. We then met up with two other couples, and drove to the South African restaurant in Brooklyn, a Korean and Italian couple. Its been fun exploring each others cultural dishes and it was our turn. Next time we will do a braai at our house. The kids slept over at the sitter, we ran over to get them and headed out to Saint James (about 45 minutes away) for one of J's best friends kid's 6 year old party at what an unbelievable venue, with an indoor rollercoaster, bumper cars the works. I am not sure who had more fun, the kids or the grown ups!!!

Today Ry lost another tooth, this kid just slays me with her thoughtfulness and kindness, she wrote a letter to the tooth fairy, along with leaving a pile of coins so that the tooth fairy could have money to buy other kids gifts when they lose their teeth. She is truly one of the most generous souls I know. Today was a milestone for Nikki who read her first bedtime story to me - complete from cover to cover and I must say it was a pretty hard book. That little face with the glasses, holy moly she has me wrapped!!!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Times they are a changing!!!!

Its hard to imagine that I struggled to make friends in NY. For me making friends in SA was equivalent to breathing. I managed to have many acquaintances and a core group of like minded souls who made up my closest friends. I am fortunae to still have most of these people in my life and have managed to make some new friends along the way. Unfortunately I could not connect with the folks in my immediate vicinity. New Yorkers are an odd lot for the most part and try as I may I was rejected at every turn. About two years ago that all changed. Josh and I went from being bored on a Saturday Night, to having a whole lot of plans. I hated being reliant on J and the internet for companionship. I need people to connect with in the flesh. People I can hang out with and laugh. Nikki has an uncanny ability to attract people to her and she makes friends wherever we go. Not only does she attract people but she attracts the type of kids that I like with parents I can relate to. Saturday Night I organized a night out with the parents of the girls in the class. It is a great mix of working moms from various backgrounds and nationalities. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. Interesting people who know how to kick back and have a laugh. Everyone had a geat time and I must say it was so nice being able to connect with so many different people. It was so hard feeling that it was me for the longest time. I guess I finally found people to call my own. I am still connected to Nikki's pre-school group through whom I have met other people and now to the parents and kids in her current class. Josh and laughed as we had to turn down our 4th Superbowl party invite, who would ever have guest we would finally be in demand!! My the times they are a'changing.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Safe in South Africa???

I was in the middle of a closing, my cell rings, its my dad. I am in the middle of a closing can I call you back later? Realizing its close to 10pm in SA I say to him is everything OK? Not really he says, excuse me I say to the table loaded with people needing me to do what I need to do to get them on to their next step. What's wrong I say, my mind running through 50 million possibile disasters. He tells me how he and my mom were driving near their home in Vereeiniging they were stopped at a light. They never saw anything or heard anything, my mom felt something brush past her leg, the thug had broken the window, taken her bag without her knowing anything. She was covered in glass and they did not see it happen. Thank G-d it was not serious and they were ok. But it seems like there is an incident everytime they go back. I am nervous to go back now, I have not felt that way, I was more scared of going back and not wanting to leave, now I am scared to take my kids there, it will just be me and the two kids for 6.5 weeks. My kids don't know what its like to have fences up, to not ride your bike in the front yard or walk down the street. They don't know what it is like to have security guards and alarms. They don't know that they can't drive around with their windows open. They don't know what it means to live in South Africa. I have been gone for so long but its funny the lessons are still in place. I immediately lock my doors when I get into my car. I rarely have my window open although understand its my issue and allow them theirs. It seemed like a good idea when we made the plan, now I am not sure. I want to go home, really I do, its been almost 8 years, I want to buy biltong and chat with my friends and show my kids my history. Take them past my childhood home. They are fortunate in that we are surrounded by my husbands history, he grew up in our neighbourhood, attended their school, they belong to the same Shul, but I want them to know me and where I come from. At what cost???

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Ryan's results

Well those of you who have been through my Ryan journey with me will know how hard it has been and how frustrated I have been, how hard she has had it and how heartbreaking a journey it has been. I am scared to say it for fear of sending the stars out of alignment but it appears that we have done a 180 degree turn around, as negative as the teachers were last year is as positive as they are now. Ryan is flourishing,s he has not only found her feet but her wings as well. My sweet little Ry, Ry has unleashed her butterfly and is soaring so high. I am so proud of her and so happy. She has made so many friends and is just moving in the right direction on every level. I am so proud of you Ry, its been a long hard road and I amawed by your bravery and your determination and your ability to just do what you have to without a complaint. What an incredible girl, how lucky I am to know you.

You QUIT Me??

I spent the good part of a closing being yelled at my my 5 year old. This incredulous little high pitched voice shouting "You QUIT me???" You see it happened again, the trials of being a working mom .... Ryan off in her carpool, the little one waiting for mom, all dressed up in her little leotard waiting for me. Me stuck at least an hour away, caught I a closing that should by all means have ended by 3pm affording me plenty of time to get home and get her "-ship" to gymnastics. Little indignant person, so seething mad, so little control over her world. I could not stop laughing, I could not breath, I could just picture the scene, she was red hot mad. I felt bad, I did but the "You QUIT me", just slayed me. No love I told her I did not quit you, you will just have to miss this week (and last week and the three before that), Mommy has to work. Mommy needs to work and most importantly, Mommy wants to work.

This has been the week of inconsiderate people, yesterdays closing the purchaser arrived 4.5 hours late, no explaination, nothing, his attorney was there, the bank attorney was there, the seller and his attorney was there, I was there but the purchaser felt way more important then us ..... 4.5 hours late. beaten by the seller of todays closing - 5 hours late. get a clue people, get a watch. Get with it for G-d sake why must we all wait on you. I too have a life and a family. Its lucky I love my job and the people who I spent the time with happened to be great, lots of laughs and interesting stuff.

Now back to Ms. Muffet, the 5 year old drama queen. It seems she needs reading glasses - I ask you how many 5 year olds need reading glasses, she insisted on choosing what she wants, I got a magazine, showed her what color tag to look for and she could choose what she wanted. The optometrist and his assistant were horrified that I let her do exactly what she wants, but you see its only their first meeting. They don't know about the kid who decides she can swim and without a single lesson, pulls off her water wings dives into the deepend and swims. They don't know about the 18 month old who decided no diapers, pulled them off at a swanky club in Manhattan and never wore them again. She did the same with her pacifier, bottle and booster seat. No this kid, she know exactly what she wants, if they think I am going to care what glasses she wears they have got to be kidding!! She finally comes up to me, that delicious little elastic face, the face all screwed up, furrows on her brow. Mom, she says I am not going to wear glasses. Knowing how she loves the drama of life, I say Nik, you gotta be kidding me, glasses?? You don't want glasses, thats fine, but just remember that glasses are jewellery for the face, if you find the right pair I will buy rhinestones for them and put them on and they will sparkle. The furrows relax, she says can I have hot pink rhinestones, I say sure. She carefully examines the pair that can hold the most rhinestones, hey that's my kid!!! Nik Nuk just so you know, this Mommy is never going to quit you, ever.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Justaskjudy: Daffy Definitions#links

Justaskjudy: Daffy Definitions#links
Daffy Definitions
1. ARBITRATOR: A cook that leaves Arby's to work at McDonald's
2. AVOIDABLE: What a bullfighter tried to do.
3. BERNADETTE: The act of torching a mortgage
4. BURGLARIZE: What a crook sees with
5. CONTROL: A short, ugly inmate
6. COUNTERFEITERS: Workers who put together kitchen cabinets
7. ECLIPSE: What an English barber does for a living
8. EYEDROPPER: A clumsy ophthalmologist
9. HEROES: What a guy in a boat does
10. LEFTBANK: What the robber did when his bag was full of money
11. MISTY: How golfers create divots
12. PARADOX: Two physicians
13. PARASITES: What you see from the top of the Eiffel Tower
14. PHARMACIST: A helper on the farm
15. POLARIZE: What penguins see with
16. PRIMATE: Removing your spouse from in front of the TV
17. RELIEF: What trees do in the spring
18. RUBBERNECK: What you do to relax your wife
19. SELFISH: What the owner of a seafood store does
20. SUDAFED: Brought litigation against a government official

22 for a moment..........

I am not great with lyrics, remembering songs, who sings them, etc., but this song hits me everytime..............100 years to live by 5 for fighting. 100 years seems like an eternity yet time flies by in the blink of an eye. I was at a closing last week with these two young guys, both 10 years younger then me. I blinked and 10 years went by. I remember being where they are, I could so relate to so many things they were saying and doing. I did not feel older and wiser but when it came down to talking about families, relationships, life (yes it was a really long closing :) we were such worlds apart. I remember my outlook on my hubby's parents and his family and his issues with them and had no idea how much his family, his issues would become mine when we got married or how all those issues dissapeared a few years after we had kids. How one learns to forgive many transgressions when they take the kids for a night. How much can be forgiven and forgotten when family is what really counts at the end of the day. Hey we've only got 100 years to live (g-d willing).........

100 years to live
by 5 for fighting-

I'm 15 for a moment
Caught in between 10 and 20
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are

I'm 22 for a moment
She feels better than ever
And we're on fire
Making our way back from Mars

15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

I'm 33 for a moment
Still the man, but you see I'm a they
A kid on the way
A family on my mind

I'm 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I'm heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life

15 there's still time for you
Time to buy, Time to lose yourself
Within a morning star

15 I'm all right with you
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

Half time goes by
Suddenly you're wise
Another blink of an eye
67 is gone
The sun is getting high
We're moving on...

I'm 99 for a moment
Dying for just another moment
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are

15 there's still time for you
22 I feel her too
33 you're on your way
Every day's a new day...

15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey 15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Meeting Josh was an unbelievable experience for me. I had never had anyone in my life who loved me as much as him. He was (and sometimes still is) oblivious to my faults. Obviously I point his out with exact measure and not often with a lot of care. Not really sure why he puts up with it sometimes even how he puts up with me. My friend Deb was trying to coax me to be nicer, as soon as her husband arrives she makes a whole fanfare and rushes to greet him. Its not in me - sorry sweetie. Wish I could put my life on hold and go running to meet you but thats what one gets a German Shepperd for. For those who do not know my hubby, he is not exactly the easiest guy in the room and his idiosyncrasies are vast and varied, but there should be an award with his name floating around for putting up with me.

One of the scariest things early on in our courship, next to him declaring on the second time we met that we would be married (and I had yet to even agree to go on a date with him)was when he told me that he wanted to grow old with me. I did not particularly relish the idea of growing old, let alone having someone along for the ride. Age is a funny thing the older you get the smaller the numbers seem. I remember my 20's and early 30's where 40 seemed so old. Now that I am tapping at 40's door it seems incredibly young. When I was younger I used to harbour a fantasy of going back in time and getting to know my parents at the age I was, to hang out with a 20 year old Ruth or Jack and find out who they were. I know that as their daughter I can never see that side that they have to hide, the side I keep in check around my girls. Sure I can get silly but hey there are things in my past that are best let laid to rest. Not that I was wild or wicked but its just best kept as blackmail between friends. I guess my folks have their own demons, like my dad who most of the people he hung out with ended up dead or in jail, hmmmm guess I don't really want to know. Or shy blushing Ruth would most probably annoyed the hell out of me. These are the portraits they painted of themselves, I wonder who I would have seen?

I am not ready to rush into being 60 or 70 but I feel OK with where I am at. I am so grateful to have not lived a grey life to have experienced so much and met so many people. The journey is far from over but I am enjoying the ride.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Home at last

Emmigration was really tough for me. I found that I had been beaten to a place that I did not even know existed. Who knew I could ever feel so low? The most telling comments have been from friends who I had not been in contact with and had re-connected with on their opening comments without fail were: what major corporation are you running? There was no doubt in their mind that I could ever fail and none in mine. I remember feeling infalliable. Remember going forward and not looking back, truly driven. New York was greater then me and the people here were odd for want of a better word. I could not relate to their insulated view of themselves, kill or be killed. I was driven but had compassion, knew how to live, how to laugh. One of the companies I worked for, I was constantly reprimanded because I caused to much motion, used to invigorating those around me, I could not switch off what had been my magic in South Africa. The first company I worked for forbade anyone from socializing with me for fear that I was a spy from the mother company who had transfered me there. I was truly alone. It was a weird place for me to be after always being surrounded by friends and family. Always being so close to my parents, speaking to them everyday, even to this day no matter where they are I speak to them everyday. I remember my first weekend in Manhattan, in my tiny apartment that cost more a month then some families earned a month (taking the exchange rate into account). I walked around the streets, pretty broke, but envigorated, ready to take on Manhattan. It was exciting but lonely, I remember thinking how if anything happened to me no-one would find out for weeks, I had no long distance so had been out of touch with my folks, if I never arrived for work on Monday they would assume I was flighty and would not think anything of it. I purchased a $5.00 bear I named Shnook E. Bear. Shnooky bear was my first friend in New York, to this day he is our secret weapon, when the kids have bad dreams or can't find their special sleep pals, we pull Shnook E. out of retirement and he comforts them as he did with me. It took me 10 years to finally settle into NY to finally feel like it is home, to not wake up longing for a place that I called home, a place that no longer exists. The friends I had, the places we frequented, those are long gone, people have scattered around the globe, all we have are the memories of those times and those precious visits where we get to howl with laughter over the silliness that was our lives and the adventures we took.

Many times after a trip to Florida I would come back to NY and feel so dissatisfied, long for the quieter life, surrounded by the ocean. Hard to believe that I lived on Islands the whole time I have been in the states - Long Island and Manhattan.

This trip was different, I finally feel like I am home, I finally settled into my princess bed, cuddled up in my duvet and knew there was nowhere else that I wanted to be. I am so grateful to feel that way. What a long road getting there, but I am finally here.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Home for the holidays ................ there are tons of pics from the holiday at the end of the post if it is too long for you to wade through.

They say home is where your heart is. I think my heart is scattered around the globe. There are too many people to love, too far apart. This holiday season my family is in sunny Florida, enjoying the beautiful weather. Spending quality time with their cousins, grandfather and grandmother. We arrived last Wednesday, Josh got our impala upgraded to an SUV, we picked up my nephew Gary and headed up to West Palm Beach to our hotel. Josh had organized us a room last year which he pre-paid to lock in the rate, wow. A two bedroom suite for less then what a regular room costs. We are staying in the lap of luxury - it is a real treat and I am so impressed with what he organized (thank you sweetie). All three kids had their one TV's - peace prevailed. Thursday the kids had camp from 9am until 2pm.(his dad lives in the most unbelievable community which has a daily camp during school holidays and loads of other activities for the older set the rest of the year. You can sit on your butt or move all day long - whatever you choose to do. My father-in-law has his weekly ROMEO luncheon - which stands for Retired Old Men Eating Out, one of the best things is all the help is South African so its great being surrounded by friendly folk who praat die Taal, even if I am a tad rusty).

We took advantage of the kids being occupied, Josh, his dad and I cycled around and had a great time. The houses on the water are stunning and it felt so weird to be in the heat after being in the cold. Christmas season in the sun has become quite foreign to me after living in NY for so long.

Friday we spent running around to the pool and playground so the kids could shake their sillies out. Stopping at the South African store on the way back for bags of biltong - they were so yummy. We dropped the kids at my sisters place while we went to check in at our hotel. (We stay near her on the weekends so we are not driving back and forth). The hotel had lost our reservation, all our paperwork was in J's briefcase at his dad's place, about 1.5 hours away. Anyway my super duper negotiator organized us a room - not quite as luxurious as the one before but just what we needed.

Friday night my sister organized a shabbat dinner of note, tuna cerviche with tomatie bredie, a huge feast. She sure can cook.

The 24th was her 40th birthday. She had to celebrate it by driving up North to finish a closing that two of her closers had screwed up on two seperate occasiions, it was near Cape Canaveral. About a 4 hour drive both ways. I decided to go up with her and took Ryan with us as Josh was just not up for watching both kids. Ryan was an angel, Heid picked us up at 6am and we drove up North, at around 7:30am, I called J's dad and asked if we could drop Ry off at them as we were passing by. The said no problem. We dropped her off and headed on up. The closing was in the vilest house, it was filthy dirty, a menagerie of animals, 5 kids and plot straight out of Jeff Foxworthy - real salt of the earth people, although must say his amputated finger, swastiker and tatoos were just the tip of the iceberg. Strange people. We used anti-bacterial soap from head to toe - ewwwwwwwww. Great having an uninterupted huck. It was a bonus of family bonding, although we were just too exhausted to celebrate her birthday with any style!! Ry ended up being in camp and having the best time out of everyone. Josh, Stephen, Gary, Jo jo and Nikki all headed out for South Beach and had a great time.

Sunday was the party, a true Heidi production, family goodie bags loaded with badmington bats, jump ropes, bug catchers, and tons of other activities to keep the families busy, canoes, fishing, we were right on the water, ate a yummy lunch, everyone brought bikes, etc. It was a great day except for Jo Jo making a getaway every few minutes - he is so cute but what a little rascal. really delicious. Although the biggest trouble maker of all was my daughter Nikki who ended up giving Jo Jo an impromptu haircut - he has huge chunks missing from the back of his head - not quite sure what possessed her???

Monday we headed back North, to spend time with J's dad and stepmom. A friend of theirs was visiting so we got to hang out, eat way to much and chat. The kids did the camp thing and we just took it easy. J and his dad spent a lot of quality time while I just went to the malls, hit a few consignment and antique stores with his step-mom, Les. It was very nice. Friday ended up being a date day, J and I droveup Route A1A along the coast from Fort lauderdale to West Palm, it is so breathtaking and the homes along the water are just spectacular. We had a sitter for the kids and went to our favourite restaurant Cafe Chardonnay - yum. The next day my sister, her husband and the boys arrived, must say it was the start of the vacation, we all had such a lovely time together, the kids swam and had a real ball together and the grownups all got to bond and hang out. It was really special, it was the best way to spend New Years, we had an early dinner, then headed back to the hotel, watch fireworks from our hotel room, Josh and Stephen went dow to the hot tub for a few hours, they had a great time. Happy New Year. The next day I took Gary and my girls to a party at my in-laws, it was lovely and they really went all out. They had about 80 people there. We then hit the pool, were having such a great time we decided to extent the stay at the hotel one more night. we all really got to relax and the cousins had a ball. Monday we headed back to Aventura. Heid organized a sitter and we went to Opa for dinner - the had dancing on the tables reminiscent of all those nights at Theo's in Norwood and at the Clay Oven in Fourways, a million moons ago.

Tuesday, heavy hearted we left. Always sad to say goodbye - a great time was had by all.

By the way, J and I are "cursed" when we travel from Florida, the simple 3 hour flight on the return leg is always delayed, usually by snow. It once took us 27 hours to get home. This time we checked the weather - no snow - yay we were in the clear, a bit of rain at LaGardia but hey that's ok. get to the airport - mechanical trouble, lol, the three hours turned into 9!!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Heid and Stephen
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Out at Oupa for a dinner
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Heidi and Jo Jo
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The four kids in our deluxe suite!!!
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Nikki Noodles at the waterways
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Ryan at the park
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Stephen and Josh
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Ry and Nikki
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Jo Jo
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Gary and Nikki at the Waterways
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Heidi cutting the cake. History repeats itself, about 18 years ago my family went on vacation to Israel, my folks organized Heid the yummiest birthday cake, except they forgot a knife so my mom found a plastic spoon and cut perfect slices. Heid did the same thing with a plastic fork!!!
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Nikki drooling over the cake
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Gorgeous Gary
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My brother-in-law Stephen and gary
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Josh and Nikki at the park
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Grandpa with Ryan, Nikki and Gary
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A Ryan Fish
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Grandpa and Nikki
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Nikki on the park
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Ry and Gary
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At the playground
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Ry, Gary and Nikki at camp at my Father-in-law's pool
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